Planned improvement works at Filton Hill Primary School facing the chop

Filton Hill Primary School.

South Gloucestershire councillors will be asked to vote next week on a report recommending a U-turn on a council commitment to fund building improvement works at Filton Hill Primary School.

The £1.2m project at the school formed part of South Gloucestershire Council’s overall package of future school improvements agreed back in 2012. Filton Hill’s continued inclusion in the programme was confirmed in 2013, but next week the council’s Children and Young People’s Committee will be asked to ditch the project because of other demands on the funds, despite the covering report acknowledging a “historic commitment”.

Filton’s Labour councillors, Roger Hutchinson, Adam Monk and Ian Scott, have reacted with anger and concern to the move. In a statement they said:

“This project has been in the pipeline for many years and our community thought that our funding fight for the improvement work at Filton Hill Primary School had been won when the long-term capital programme was approved. We know that the council’s money is tight, but that is no excuse for moving the goalposts and dumping the scheme now.”

“The report makes clear that the priority capital programme has been stopped as part of the austerity measures introduced by central government, so local parents will see that the promise to Filton Hill is now on the line because of government policy and cuts.”

“However, the council made a clear commitment to the school and should stick to it. We urge the Children and Young People’s Committee to demonstrate that the council plays fair by upholding the decision to proceed with the improvement work at Filton Hill Primary.”

The decision on whether to retain or abandon the planned work at Filton Hill Primary School will be made at the Children and Young People’s Committee meeting in Kingswood on Wednesday 23rd July.

Source: Press release from South Gloucestershire Labour

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  1. Communication from Cllr Roger Hutchinson:

    Yesterday the Children and Young People committee of South Gloucestershire Council broke an 8-year-old promise of a £1.2m improvement to Filton Hill First School, which included work to ensure that the school had a much need new kitchen and would therefore be able to supply hot meals to its young pupils cooked on the premises.

    This decision was taken collectively by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, while Filton’s three Labour councillors had made a strong submission to the committee on behalf of Filton Hill and the three Labour councillors on the committee voted in support of retaining the investment in the school.

    Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Roger Hutchinson said: “I was actually a member of the cabinet at South Gloucestershire when the original decision to invest in Filton Hill was taken and this had been reinforced by its recent inclusion in the long-term capital programme. Filton Hill is in the priority ward, Conygre, in the Filton priority neighbourhood and you would expect that the need for these facilities would be clear. I, together with my colleagues Cllrs Adam Monk and Ian Scott are angry and disappointed with this decision that money has been snatched away from Filton Hill Primary School after years of patiently waiting. Labour councillors voted to honour the commitment but the other parties outvoted us and now the Council is a promise breaker.”

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